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Friday, February 1, 2008

Day after "Lost" ramblings

Quick "Lost" thoughts before diving into some real work on the print side.

Last night's Season Four premiere went by super fast, which is always a good thing in television terms. Of course, I felt partially robbed that the first hour of the "two-hour premiere event" was a recap show. Then again, as far as recap shows went, that was a pretty awesome synopsis of everything that's gone down in three seasons. Newbies would have been wise to tune in.

Former Press-Gazette colleague Andy Behrendt -- who I used to debate "Lost" with for hours on end when we were supposed to be doing, again, "real work" -- already posted the most pressing question from the first episode. Who are the Oceanic Six? But before the show even names the remaining three -- Jack, Kate and Hurley are confirmed based on the two flash-forwards -- let me ask, why only six? What happens to everyone else on the island, if -- and it's a big 'if' for a show mired in mystery -- we can safely assume that everyone BUT Locke would jump at the opportunity to leave when given the chance. And are Michael and Walt included in the mix, or did they never get back to the real world once their little boat was given the proper coordinates by Ben? Oh, so much to ponder ...

Either way, based on only six making it back, that would mean if the show is slow to reveal who the other three are for whatever deliberate, diabolical purpose the creators have, then every flash forward will be about Hurley, Jack and Kate. Hey, it's still better than the same boring flashbacks that don't reveal much except that Boone once crossed Sayid's path in the airport, or that Sawyer was in the same bar as Christian Shepherd ... that "Where's Waldo?" game among castaways grew tiresome fast.

Locke is the man. Seriously. As passionate as Jack is about getting everyone rescued, his fatal flaw is being too blind to the world around him, hence his broken marriage and the need to be the ultimate fix-it man. Locke, meanwhile, is seen as this master sabotage artist who's only looking out for his own self-interest. His brief speech about not hurting anyone just to hurt them, but rather for the greater good, hopefully won over some "Lost" loyalists who continue to bag the one, real visionary on the show.

Is it safe to say that Charlie is not a hallucination of Hurley's? I can't remember if Dave ever touched Hurley in the past, but when ol' Hugo says "IT wants us back" and will do whatever IT can during his basketball court conversation with Jack, clearly he's referencing the island and its all-too real powers. Powers that haven't fully been explained, but don't just involve ghostly premonitions. To me, the island (or Jacob) has the ability to create real manifestations of others -- Eko's brother, Jack's dad, Kate's horse, Sayid's cat, Locke's dad/Sawyer's con man ... the list goes on and on. So it's my belief that Hurley is seeing Charlie -- dead Charlie, but still Charlie -- just as Jack will see his dad while going off the deep end prior to the airport scene with Kate.

Lots of great humor in tonight's episode, particularly Jack's line about "growing a beard" and Hurley's response to it probably looking stupid. Also, you'd have to think that after sustaining two serious facial beatings in as many seasons -- THE MAN NEEDS TO HEAL! -- Ben wouldn't be up for a timely zinger. But his deadpan "I'd like to go with Locke" line was absolutely hysterical. I have a feeling Ben is going to die once the other "baddies" come and steal his villainous thunder. I'll miss ol' purple face.

The appearance by Lance Reddick as Matthew Abaddon was a welcome surprise. Reddick, who plays Cedric Daniels on "The Wire," brought the eyes of intensity to his little meeting with Hurley. Like Richard Alpert in the past (Nestor Carbonell better not be off the show because of "Cane"), Abbadon only had a few minutes on screen but already sent shivers down several spines. Sure his introduction means another super secret collective with enigmatic purposes is on the loose, but "Lost" fans should be used to that by now.

Great to see Hurley move beyond the comic relief stereotype. His assertiveness in going all "Dukes of Hazzard" with the van in the Season Three finale, and now defying Jack to side with Locke, is pretty bold for the big man. Also, since he's seeing Charlie in the real world, it appears he's the first to crack and feel the island's pull. We know Jack comes around once his beard thickens (it's always nice to watch a scene where you know more than the character). Is it safe to assume Kate can't be too far off and we'll get to see everyone unravel after all?

Finally, the pace seems quickened on the show now that it has an end date, which is great news. While last night's premiere used classic "Lost" stalling techniques -- Naomi should have just been dead, Hurley should have never thrown the walkie -- to save the Jeremy Davies-as-evil parachuter cliffhanger until the end, it was utlimately a satisfactory hour of TV. Sure, there was no sign of Penny, but that has to be coming. And yes, everyone is vague about everything (are THEY still alive? THEY need you!) but c'mon, that's why the show keeps us coming back for more.

Life could be worse. Nikki and Paulo could have shot up through the ground.

(Adam, you're next. As always, comment, pose a question, theorize, disagree ... and let's stir up some real conversation among "Lost" fans around here!)

-- Thomas Rozwadowski, trozwado@greenbaypressgazette.com

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2 Comments:

A nice synopsis of the latest mysteries, sir.

My little conjecture for the day is that the other three members of the Oceanic Six are Claire and Aaron (based on Desmond's vision; Aaron doesn't count in the six because he wasn't yet born at the time of the crash), Sun and Jin (Sun will die if she doesn't get her pregnant self off the island soon, and Daddy had better go with her). Assuming that the Penny Patrol (the real one) is going to be the rescuing party, it would be easy to assume that Desmond gets rescued, but I'm thinking that for some reason Penny decides instead to join Desmond on the island (he more than anyone is accustomed to it). Michael and Walt aren't among the six because they already made it home (perhaps without telling anyone else about the other survivors), but the two of them have some falling out (perhaps because Michael refuses to tell anyone about the other survivors), and Walt doesn't even show up for Michael's funeral. I had also thought at first that Sawyer would have been among the Six, given that flash-forward Kate said a certain "he" would be wondering where she was. But, based on the foreshadowing, I like the theory that "he" is Kate's child, Sawyer Jr. So let's just call this the three-baby theory.

One last thing: Why in the world did Jacob appear to Hurley in the form of Christian Shephard?

By Blogger Andy Behrendt, At February 1, 2008 at 1:13 PM  

That's some Sherlock Holmes-style sleuthing, my friend. I hadn't even thought about Kate with a bun in the oven, but seeing as how "Lost" deliberately sets up such vague dialogue, it makes perfect sense. Same with the chosen survivors. Great call. My only question is what becomes of Sayid?

Actually, I have quite a few questions ...

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At February 1, 2008 at 3:48 PM  

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